Politics of Heroes and Traitors – Lessons Not Learnt

9 April 2012 08:56 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Influential sections of civil society and vocal sections of the Tamil Diaspora all kept a hypocritical silence on such brutality. Some pro- Tiger activist further justified such killings as an overall necessary means to achieve the overall goal of Tamil Eelam. Some others also claim that violence as an innate part of rebel movements to achieve self-determination.
In addition to brutal eradication of Tamil opposition, Tigers also eliminated all forms of dissenting voice among Tamils. Tamil writers who dissented were threatened, harassed and killed in cold blood. Many of such killings have been erased from the collective conscious – including writers of Thiranamasu. Tamil society was not only purged but also paralyzed in the name of the freedom struggle and Tamil Eelam.
What did the Tamil Tiger leadership achieve through such a campaign of hatred and cold blooded killings? Did the means of eliminating Tamil opposition in the name of ‘traitor elimination’ enable Tamil Tigers to achieve the overall goal of Tamil Eelam? The response is very negative. The course of nationalistic politics not only ensured the destruction of Tamil Tigers but also destroyed the collective existence and foundations of Tamil society as a whole.
Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, politics based on narrow heroes and traitors have not yet ended despite the end of thirty years of war in May 2009. Politicians and sections of nationalist media outlets are continuoally resorting to campaigns based on the petty lines of heroes and traitors. This line of nationalistic politics is a convenient short term tool for short sighted politicians to gather masses for their political causes and objectives.

However, as clearly seen in the case study with Tigers, such political tool is not only dangerous but also destructive for the long term political and social health of  Sri Lanka as a nation.
If Sri Lanka has learnt any lessons from the defeat of Tamil Tigers and thirty years of war, the country must move forward from the politics of hate based on traitors and heroes.  Establishing rule of law not rule of heroes is a step in the right direction.

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